Translanguaging in the 21st Century
Movement of people within and between nation states has increased exponentially in the early part of the 21st century, and associatively, languages have also increased contact and overlapped with one another. As a result, the boundaries between the states, on the one hand, and languages, on the other hand, have become blurred and at best fuzzy.
Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Volume 34, Issue 3, is a special issue titled: “Translanguaging in the 21st century: New pathways for epistemic access and identity formation.” The Introduction of this special issue is written by Editor-in-Chief, Leketi Makalela and Dumisile Mkhize and summarises a variety of informative and topical papers within this special issue.
In the Introduction, the authors state that we observe that globalisation and the end of the Cold War have both accelerated language mobility in several ways. These include a number of people from the developing world going to the former colonising states and the open-market approach that led to widening territories for trade in the former colonised states.
With the advent of civil wars, terrorism and famine, more stable countries have received a recent wave of immigration, hosting refugees and creating schooling opportunities for migrant children. All these movements, taken together, have drastically changed the way we think about language, re-affirmed multilingualism as a norm for the new world order and have called for a re-theorisation process that is based on this new linguistic dispensation.
“For the purposes of this issue, we note that these changes have resulted in scholars questioning the validity of language as a static entity that is capable of being placed in a box and, instead preferring the verb ‘languaging’ to emphasise mobility and fluidity between traditional language boundaries,” said Makalela and Dumisile.
The Introduction will be available to read at no cost until the end of January 2017 here.